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Chapter 32: Living With Parkinson's?

Chapter 25: Elysium
9.15.2002 Edited by Ben, every Sunday.

Bjorn roused slowly from a state of deep slumber. His body felt heavy, it felt detached from himself. He lifted his arm as if to see that he still could. It was as if his mind and body were becoming acquainted for the first time. Each move he tried to make had to be consciously and meticulously planned. His body was gradually moving from a state of deep, prolonged sleep to some relative form of alertness. Impulses trickled through his nerves like water through a dry hose. He was sore to his very marrow.

He slowly began to deduce his surroundings. His fingers poked clumsily at the mattress he was lying upon. Light began to stream into his glazed eyes. The room was dark, with only the wandering light from an open door.

"Where am I?", thought Bjorn, his lips roughly mouthed the words to his thoughts but no sound came from his dry mouth.

He struggled to lift his head so he could see where he was. The muscles in Bjorn's neck strained under the weight, his head felt unbearably heavy. His eyes fluttered shut against his will. His head fell back on the pillow, and he was fast asleep within seconds.

A dark, unseen figure sitting on a chair at the foot of the bed uncrossed his legs and sighed.

"Welcome to Elysium, Bjorn." spoke the silhouette in a soft, gentle tone, "You're safe now, get some rest".

Bjorn slept soundly for close to ten more hours before finally waking again. When he arose he came to his senses much more quickly than he had in his earlier attempt, which hadn't even registered in his memory.

He was able to discern much more of his surroundings now. He was in a clean, dry room on a very high quality mattress. The sheets were silk, and the furnishing in the room seemed very nice, from what he could tell. The room was spotless, although the ceiling was strangely low. The only light invading the darkness was from the door, which was open only a few inches.

The same dark figure rose from his chair, and Bjorn became immediately conscious of his mysterious presence. A jolt of adrenaline jolted Bjorn into a state of full readiness.

"Who are you? Where am I?" blurted Bjorn.

The figure walked calmly to door, reached out his hand and flicked on the light switch.

Bjorn rubbed the water from his eyes, trying to adjust to the sudden onslaught of light.

"It's me, Regis Philbin" spoke the man, and Bjorn could see that indeed he was.

It was all too confusing for poor Bjorn. His overwhelmed head fell back on the pillow, fast asleep.

Bjorn slept soundly for close to ten more hours before finally waking again. When he arose he came to his senses much more quickly than he had in his earlier attempt, which hadn't even registered in his memory.

The room was empty now, save for Bjorn himself. He was still groggy, but couldn't stand to sleep any longer. With a strong mental effort he rose to his feet, albeit slowly. He wasn't sure how long he had been sleeping, but he knew it had been more than his usual seven and a half hours.

A pain began to emerge in the back of his head. It was not a pain being brought upon him at that moment, but a long-standing pain re-emerging from the hibernation of sleep. Bjorn pawed carefully at the source of the pain, and discovered a rather large lump embalmed in bandages. He reckoned that the lump most likely had something to do with the fact that he had been unconscious for a great deal of time. The bandages, and his presence in the room, however, were rather mysterious.

He heard a muffled voice from the hall, to which another, very distinctive voice responded "Whatchyou talkin' about, Willis?"

There was a short bustle in the hall before what appeared to be a short black man walked in, followed by a much larger balding white man.

"Bjorn? You've had a long rest, we were hoping that you'd be all right. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Gary Coleman, and this is my associate Bruce Willis. We're here to watch over you Bjorn."

Bjorn rubbed his eyes. They were indeed Gary Coleman and Bruce Willis, the actors. There was no mistaking it. He worried for a split second that they were robots, but his intuition told him they were not.

"Where's Jesus?" asked Bjorn, desperately.

"Who?" replied the two actors, in unison.

"Jesus!" replied Bjorn urgently.

"No need to curse, who are you looking for?"

"Jesus!" Replied Bjorn.

[Editors Note: A hilariously funny "Who's On First" type conversation ensued. It was extremely funny, but you've heard it before so I'll spare you the details. It will be available in "Bjorn Lincoln and the Bane of Forever: Special Edition".]

"Whatchyou talkin' about, Bjorn?"

"Yippykayay, Bjorn."

"Where's the girl?" he said finally.

"She's next door,” said Bruce, "She's been living among us for many days, and she's safe. The world has changed greatly since you've been asleep, and I cannot prepare you for what you will soon be told. These are grim days, my friend."

"True, a dark cloud does cast its shadow on humanity, but the future is bright." spoke Gary Coleman, "There is a New World order coming Bjorn. The golden age of humanity. Utopia."

"All will be explained by Emperor Regis. Come, you must now meet him. You will see your beloved girl soon enough."

Bjorn was led through a maze of corridors. They turned every which way, back and forth. Up small steps and down ladders. Two things struck Bjorn, one was the thought that this must be some sort of underground complex. The second thing he noticed was the unusually large number of celebrities. They passed Moby, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, and too many more to recount. Something odd was going on.

They led Bjorn to a large throne room, adorned in rich red satin and gold. A top the throne sat Regis Philbin, wearing full regal regalia. At his side were Conan O'Brien and Tom Selleck, who were dressed as though they were his royal guards. Regis was busy talking to what appeared to be Jay Leno. Regis looked up as Bjorn entered the room.

"Bjorn, welcome!" spoke the king "we were wondering when you would wake. We have much to tell you, I'm sure this must all be very confusing."

Bjorn simply nodded.

"Right, well I'll just get into it then. I've got a makeup meeting in fifteen, so I'll keep this short. Alright, you were about to be smacked by that fireman robot, the nuclear bomb had just been dropped, yadda yadda yadda, just as the fireman was going to shoot you, the rubble you were standing on gave way. Kaboingo, the fireman was smashed, you survived with but a bump to the head, and your lovely companion was fine.

"This," said Regis, "is Elysium. This is all that is left of our society. After the bomb was dropped on New York, The U.S. defense systems automatically responded with computer-initiated bombings of Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Cuba, China and France. They retaliated, it was mutually assured destruction, yadda yadda yadda, world more or less came to an end."

"Where are we?" inquired Bjorn inquisitively.

"Far underground. This was a city built years ago beneath the subways as a haven for society's most valuable members - its celebrities. In case of disaster, such as the yadda yadda that went on, all of New York's biggest stars were to come down here. We form the nucleus for what will become a New World order, a perfect world built around perfect people. We are the future."

Bjorn furled his brow. "I'm not a celebrity, Regis, what does that mean for me?"

Regis rose elegantly from his seat, placing a gaze on Bjorn that was both cold and sympathetic.

"We will have to eject you from the colony, once we are sufficiently assured that you have recovered from your afflictions. The future is at stake. We cannot risk the contamination of the perfect society."

"And that," he added, "Is the final answer."

By Neale McDavitt-van Fleet

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